What To Do When Your Computer Hangs

It is obvious to worry when your computer hangs amid an important task. What you need to do then depends on several factors, both external and internal to the PC.


It is not an alien phenomenon to see your PC hang in the middle of a vital operation. Everyone using PC or a laptop must have faced it on one or more occasions. Your first priority in this case is to protect your work from being lost, as well as to guard your system against a sudden crash. A system may hang due to several reasons including excessive heating, too much load, a virus attack or malicious software operating on the PC. Whatever may be the reason you should make out what to do at the earliest.

You know your PC has hung when some program stops responding and the screen looks something like this-

Window Explorer Not Responding

What to do when your PC hangs

Wait for the program to respond

If you have a crucial unsaved project operating and you believe it is not a virus attack, then you should prefer waiting for some time. Most of the programs that stop responding due to overload resume their usual mode in a short span of time. Meanwhile, if minimize tab is working, you may refresh the computer and see if it makes a difference.

Check the CPU temperature

Sometimes the computer may hang if it gets heated excessively.  There is an exhaust fan located just near the CPU to drive out the heated air and control the system temperature. You can feel the air if you place your hand on the box. If it is not working, you need to replace it. In case of laptops, you can place them on something that allows the air to escape from beneath, instead of keeping it flat on table or bed.

Close the program

If none of the above apprehensions seem to be correct, then it may the result of a virus attack or a malicious software or site operating on your computer.

Under this condition, close the program that you believe is causing the trouble. If rest of your computer is working properly, then you know who the culprit is. Close any newly opened tab if you think it may be running illegal scripts. Move to the next step if you are unable to do it.

Open the task manager

It is your last resort when either your program is unable to close and/or the whole system stops responding. You should quickly press these three keys at once-

Ctrl + Alt + Del

You will find the computer screen displaying the following options-

Choose start task manager and the task manager window will open.

Task Manager Window Ctrl+Alt+Del

Choose the program that you want to close and click on end task. Close the window after you are done.

Shut down the computer

In the severest case when even the task manager does not help, it is the time to log off or shut down your PC to protect it from any unforeseen damage. You can do it just from the emergency log off screen or do it forcefully using the start button if nothing seems to work for you. However, I will advise you not to force shut down unless and until you are ultra sure that your system is under genuine threat.